Racial segregation has been long considered to be where the wind blows. Yet, years ago the circumstances were much worse and many colored children suffered from the discriminative attitude and racism. However, due to the Civil Rights Movement and the War on segregation all these issues have been left in the past. One court decision was, actually, critical in this regard. The Brown vs. Board of Education is among the most important lawsuits in the history of the educational legal disputes and this paper will dwell on it more in details stressing on its particularities, importance and the effect it has on the present-day educational process.
The History of the Case
In fact, the presented case consolidates other cases in the US history that have been somehow related to the issues of discrimination or segregation and that have been tried in Kansas, South Carolina, Virginia, Delaware etc. In almost all cases the judges referred to the precedent called Plessy vs. Ferguson and denied the relief based on the equal, yet separate doctrine. All the plaintiffs applied to the Supreme Court claiming that the segregated schools were not equal and, thus, their children were treated unfairly and were deprived of the equal protection guaranteed by the laws of the US.
The thing was that the children were going to the same schools. Yet, the facilities that were used by them and the teachers who taught children were different separate for white kids and for other non-white children. Therefore, the issue in this case is the race-based segregation in school corresponds to the Constitution of the United States of America (US Courts, 2015). All the plaintiffs filed the appeals challenging the decisions of the previous courts and submitted them for consideration of the Supreme Court.
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Having considered the case, the Court has held that the equal, but separate treatment violates the rights of the children and contradicts to the 14th Amendment of the US Constitution. It was stressed that segregation and discrimination of the children based on race deprives the black children of the equal protection under the laws of the state and even though the facilities and children were basically the same, the children still suffered (Weber, 2015). The judges held that the education in the public schools is the right that is guaranteed for every American citizen and it should be provided for them on the equal terms.
The court has also noted that the main issue did not involve the differences in the facilities or in the teachers that taught children. It rather referred to the public importance and significance of the public education within the USA. The judges asserted that the equal but separate doctrine that had been developed in the case Plessy vs. Ferguson and that referred to the use of the transportation system could not be applicable in this case.
The judges also stressed that the segregation of the children might have inevitable and irreversible impact on their personality and future development. As it is stated, such behavior might affect their minds and hearts in the way that could never be undone. However, the habitual segregation is even more significant when it is sanctioned by the laws and when no protection is granted to those who feel their rights to be offended. The Court has noted that the segregation, or separation of the children, might negatively affect their mental and educational development. It can simply deprive them of the motivation to learn more (US Courts, 2015). These children are frequently deprived of the benefits that are provided by the integrated schools that are not somehow separated or segregated.
In regard to this case, it should also be noted that the judges were aware of the fact that the Southern states might oppose to the decision due to the historical conditions surrounding slavery and discrimination of the black-skinned people. They, in turn, referred to the Attorneys General and asked to draft the plans that would advance the desegregation in their corresponding states. Only after the deliberations and lots of preparations, the decision was implemented over the territory of the USA.
The Importance of the Case and its Effect on the Present-day Education
The importance of this case is hard to overwhelm. In fact, it has laid down the cornerstones for the equality in the educational process and removes the segregation motives that existed there before. The school is the place where everything actually starts. Here, the children learn how to obey the rules and how to break them; they communicate, learn and even fight for what is theirs (Balkin, 2001). The school could be easily projected on the real life. Thus, in order to remove racism and discrimination and ensure tolerance and existence of all the cultures in harmony, the courts must pass such decisions fixing the justice and protecting those who are affected by the powers of majority. Additionally, the court has reaffirmed the influence and significance of the 14th Amendment to the US Constitution.
Years ago the opportunity to learn was not taken as granted, but rather was treasured by those luckiest people who obtained it through all the efforts. And today, the education is perceived more like an instrument for reaching one’s goals or as a key providing access to the better world and higher salaries. Education serves the interests of the large corporations and it drives the US economy. Therefore, this field should be free from discrimination and bias for the people not to miss the talented or skillful child who might change the landscape of the American science, business etc.
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